Day 2 of our trip started with an early morning drive and ended in Nashville where we were staying.
Stop 1: The Jack Daniel's Distillery
About an hour and a half drive south of Nashville, the Jack Daniel's grounds sits on a beautiful chunk of country land. It's amazing how much of the product is made at this small looking factory. Yet there's no loud machinery clunking around, no smog rising in the area, just a simple ground where the whiskey is made.
If you want to see the area, it's completely free and takes you through every aspect of the process. You start with a brief film, before being whisked over to the rickyard, where they make their own charcoal for the filtering process. From there you are shown springs where the water comes from, offices, where the mash is made, filtering rooms, bottling, storage and more. It's amazing how much work goes into every bottle, from the barrels to the charcoal, to the tasting of each barrel.
After your tour, you can stop by the White Rabbit store, where they have commemorative bottles of Jack Daniel's available. This is the only place in the county that you're able to purchase the drink, as the county which Lynchburg is situated in a dry county! There's also a big shop in town that sells plenty of Jack Daniel's themed items: cooking sauces, barrels used in the process that you can take home, t-shirts, postcards, you name it. They even have a little metal Jack Daniel statue that you can use as your new bottle pourer!
Entrance to the Jack Daniel's Distillery
Statue of Jack Daniel
The Rickyard, where they make all the charcoal for filtering
From within these caverns come all the water for the whiskey
An Example of the Charcoal vats used for the filtering process
Far left: Whiskey before it is placed in the barrels, A, B, and C represent various whiskeys that have been aged, the color depends on what level of the storage house they've been placed.
One of the buildings where the magic happens
Sign found in Jack Daniel's office
Stop 2: Stones River National Battlefield
While heading back up to Nashville, we decided to take a small detour to the battlefield after seeing some signs for it on the highway. The welcome center has a small museum dedicated to the history of the Civil War in general, and the area more specifically. The park itself has many hiking and biking paths, as well as camping. There are programs available as well to learn more about the history of the area. We enjoyed the museum, but as we had only stopped by randomly didn't try any of the programs.
Stop 3: Back to Nashville
Arriving in Nashville, we decided to check out the downtown area a bit. It's filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and well-known musical venues. We started at an ice cream shop across from the Hard Rock Cafe then worked our way up the street. Most of the bars had started with live music already, and so we got sucked into a few. The first wasn't the greatest, the singer especially was extremely off-key, so we wandered away. The next was Robert's Western World, which we got sucked into for quite some time. The band playing that day was called the Silver Threads, and my dad and I got sucked into watching them for a couple hours, over a couple of Jack and Cokes. They kept a light-hearted and fun banter going throughout the show, and they executed every song with amazing talent. Here's a super short video of them playing. Sorry for the quality, this is the first video I've really ever taken for this blog.
After our little impromptu concert, we ended the evening with dinner at Jack's Barbeque, a well-known joint in Nashville, scarfing down a few plates of BBQ and sides like mac & cheese, corn, and beans. It was a great end to the evening.